Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Heron Lies the Problem

Heron's are beautiful birds and amazing fishermen.  This is great if you are watching them in a wildlife situation, but it is a real dilemma when they are eating the fish out of your stocked pond. I guess it would be inhumane to begrudge a heron a minnow or two, but unfortunately, they eat 13 ounces of food a day.  That comes to 3 six-inch fish or 10 two-inch fish.  They are not above stabbing a much larger fish with their piercing beaks and leaving the unwanted remains. "Oops, I'm full...guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach."
According to research, herons are territorial.  Hence, the purchase of four heron decoys.  Unfortunately, during mating season...May to October...the horny little buggers seem to love the fact that we have provided plastic dates for them.  Meanwhile, they continue to ravish our ponds. If a heron finds food, he/she will stay in that spot until the food source is gone.  Every time one of the fish bites the dust, I see dollar signs.  It is no cheap undertaking to stock a pond. Does being a steward of the land include providing gourmet dinners for herons?
My Sunday at the ranch was consumed by the following:  Spot heron, slam front door to scare heron...clap loudly for one minute to keep heron from landing back at pond.  Spot heron, slam front door to scare heron...clap loudly for one minute to keep heron from landing back at pond, etc. I don't know why I even bother because this white heron's blue brother is over at another pond busily gorging himself.
Now that I know these birds are really a dreaded predator, I am desperate to rid the ranch of the beasts.  Fortunately for the birds, they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and it is unlawful to shoot them....$10,000 fine!  I guess this bill was signed before the heron population in the US exploded.  Ranchers in South America drove/killed off the birds and the remaining herons banded together to invade North America. (Not to be confused with heroin, also coming across the border.) I own a nefarious device called The Bird Banger which is supposed to scare off birds with pyrotechnics, but it is too dry at the ranch to be dealing with fireworks.
So, not having dogs to station at each pond...they are supposedly frightened by canines...I've scouted out a few Internet suggestions.  The best one was purchasing trumpeter swans.  I feel like this might be just a case of changing one nuisance for another, but I'm looking into it.  I could well relate to Charlie who said, "I've killed 5 of the SOB's (herons) this year alone.  Don't try eating them though, they taste like kitty cats when grilled."  Where was this guy when I was looking for a gate guard to intimidate the Apache employees?

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